5.8/10
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Waiting to Exhale (1995)

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Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.

Director:

Forest Whitaker

Writers:

Terry McMillan (novel), Terry McMillan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Whitney Houston ... Savannah Jackson
Angela Bassett ... Bernadine Harris
Loretta Devine ... Gloria Matthews
Lela Rochon ... Robin Stokes
Gregory Hines ... Marvin King
Dennis Haysbert ... Kenneth Dawkins
Mykelti Williamson ... Troy
Michael Beach ... John Harris, Sr.
Leon ... Russell
Wendell Pierce ... Michael Davenport
Donald Faison ... Tarik Matthews
Jeffrey D. Sams ... Lionel
Jazz Raycole ... Onika Harris
Brandon Hammond ... John Harris, Jr.
Kenya Moore ... Denise
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Storyline

This story based on the best selling novel by Terry McMillan follows the lives of four African-American women as they try to deal with their very lives. Friendship becomes the strongest bond between these women as men, careers, and families take them in different directions. Often light-hearted this movie speaks about some of the problems and struggles the modern women face in today's world. Written by David Adrine <hdadrine@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Friends are the people who let you be yourself... and never let you forget it.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Où sont les hommes? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$67,052,156

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$81,452,156
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Whitaker had earlier directed an HBO drama called Strapped (1993) - for which he received Best New Director honors at the Toronto Film Festival - this film was his first job directing a full-length feature film. See more »

Goofs

When Bernie meets James Wheeler in the hotel bar, his hands keep changing their position on the bar between shots. See more »

Quotes

Bernadine Harris: I give you 11 fucking years of my life and you're telling me you're leaving me for a white woman?
John Harris, Sr.: Would it help if she was black?
Bernadine Harris: No. It would help if you were black.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Phil Hartman/Gin Blossoms (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Exhale (Shoop Shoop)
Performed by Whitney Houston
Written by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (as Babyface)
Produced by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (as Babyface) for Ecaf Productions
Whitney Houston appears courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Frustrating...
12 February 2000 | by Rid.XSee all my reviews

That's the word I'd use to describe the film, an adaptation of Terry McMillan's 1992 best-seller. It's not great, it's not bad, but it's frustrating to watch, and the fact that I'm of the male persuasion undoubtedly had something to do with it.

Now, let me be the first to say that I did enjoy seeing a group of strong black women portrayed onscreen. To say that Hollywood has been exceedingly lax in this regard is an understatement. But it would've been nice if their collective talents hadn't been squandered on this disgustingly anti-male tirade. Especially Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine, who otherwise shine in everything their names are attached to. Good, solid movies about sisterhood are probably needed now more than ever, but not at the cost of shortchanging the good, upright, decent brothers out there, whom this movie largely forgets about (with some notable exceptions -- Gregory Hines, for example.)

And the frustration doesn't end there. Both Savannah and Robin manage to find themselves involved with the most shady characters (a married man and a dope fiend, respectively), yet they complain about the lack of good men out there. I suppose it would be silly to question just where they've been looking, even though it might hold the answer. The sad thing is that there are fellas out there who have little to no regard for women ("the scum of the f__king earth", to quote Savannah), and women who fall for fellas like that for the most silly, shallow reasons.

If it wasn't for Bassett, Devine, and Babyface's score, this movie would barely be watchable. As it is, it's a moderately entertaining diversion, albeit a frustrating one.


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